Trump hints at potential federal role in Florida recount

Florida's Senate, gubernatorial races too close

By SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN
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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conferenceĀ in the East Room of the White House on Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

(CNN) - President Donald Trump suggested Friday that the federal government could play a role in a possible recount of Florida's close Senate and gubernatorial races.

"If you look at Broward and Palm Beach (counties) to a lesser extent ... they have had a horrible history," Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for Paris.

"And if you look at the person, in this case a woman, involved -- she has had a horrible history," Trump said. It was unclear to whom Trump was referring, but Republican Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for Senate, has called the female election supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties "unethical liberals."

"All of a sudden they are finding votes out of nowhere," Trump said of the Senate race.

The President said Scott had "won by a comfortable margin," but accused Democrats of attempting to pad their margins.

"Every couple of hours, it goes down a little bit," Trump said of Scott's lead.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has pushed for a recount given that he trails Scott by such a slim margin. If the candidates in either contest are separated by 0.5% of the vote or less, the state will automatically recount ballots.

Trump tweeted Thursday evening that reported irregularities in Broward and Palm Beach counties amounted to "another big corruption scandal having to do with election fraud."

The President said officials involved in the "phony dossier" about his campaign's contacts with Russia are involved in the recount efforts. He was likely referring to Marc Elias, the lawyer Nelson's campaign has reportedly tapped to handle the recount effort, as Elias was also a lawyer for Hillary Clinton's campaign and was involved in commissioning that dossier of opposition research from Fusion GPS.

The race for governor between GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is also close enough that a recount is possible.

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